The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) would like to notify the general public that the National Council (NC) elections for the fourth Parliament will be conducted in early 2023. In this regard, the ECB would like to bring the following to the attention of all concerned:
1. Voter Photo Identity Card / Citizenship Identity Card
Voter Photo Identity Card (VPIC) or Citizenship Identity (CID) Card shall be used for identifying voters at polling stations on the poll day. It is mandatory for all voters to carry either a VPIC or CID card while coming to vote at a polling station. Therefore, the ECB urges all voters, who have either lost their CID cards or not processed and obtained them, to process for new ones immediately so as to avoid last minute rush or inconveniences. Similarly, in the case of those with CID cards with expired validity, it is reminded that such voters must apply for new cards at the earliest.
2. Polling Station and Mitsi Transfer
Given the enhanced road access and improved network connectivity in the country, the ECB has carried out a review with the objective of reducing the number of polling stations. Following the review, the number of polling stations has been reduced and consequently voters may encounter changes in the location of their polling stations. It is important that voters are aware of such changes so that they do not face difficulties on the Poll Day. Additionally, eligible voters who have transferred their Mitsi on or before 31st December, 2021 are advised to check their status.
In the light of above, all eligible voters are urged to check and confirm the location of their polling stations and Mitsi status via the following options:
a) By viewing on the ECB’s website, using the link https://berms.ecb.bt/enrollment/check; or
b) By inquiring at the Department of Electoral Registration & Delimitation (DERD), ECB HQ; or
c) By contacting the respective Dzongkhag Election Officer or Gewog Administrative Officer.
3. Social and Religious Events/Activities
As notified through the earlier notification ECB/CEC-20/2022-2023/329 dated: 7th November, 2022, the ECB would like to reiterate that social and religious events/activities may be conducted/organized until the end of January 2023.
In the event there are religious or social events planned from February to May, 2023, it is requested that they be either preponed or deferred, with the exception of annual Dzongkhag Tshechus. Following the issuance of notification calling the National Council Elections, 2023, all social and religious activities shall be closely monitored by the Dzongkhag Election Authorities. In the event there are other annual calendar events/compelling needs, concerned institutions/individuals must submit applications and obtain approval. In the case of such compelling situations, the concerned institution/individual shall seek approval from the respective Dzongkhag Election Authority. The Dzongkhag Chief Election Coordinator shall review the applications, on case-by-case basis, and accord decision, as deemed necessary.
4. Familiarization Tour of Political Parties and Candidates
Familiarization tour of the political parties and candidates shall be allowed until 31st January 2023. Therefore, all political parties and candidates who are on their familiarization tours must stop their tours in compliance with the stipulated date.
In conclusion, all concerned are hereby notified to ensure strict compliance with the above. As and where required, the ECB and Dzongkhag Election Authorities shall strictly enforce the provisions enshrined in the new rules. The new rules can be viewed on the ECB website; https://www.ecb.bt/Rules/conductofelections.pdf.
Election Commission of Bhutan